March 4 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Steve George, Emma Reynolds, Mike Hayes, Rachel Bowman and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 10:15 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020
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3:48 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

Several US colleges have canceled basketball games over coronavirus fears

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

The Western Athletic Conference announced Wednesday that two universities will not be participating in previously scheduled games this week citing coronavirus concerns.

Chicago State University’s men’s basketball team, who were set to travel to Seattle University tomorrow and Utah Valley University on Saturday, will no longer be making the trip. The school’s women’s basketball home games against the same opponents will also be cancelled.

The WAC also announced that the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s men’s basketball team won’t be traveling to Seattle for its game on Saturday. 

Chicago State University released a statement today announcing that the school is “restricting all travel for university approved student and faculty study abroad, as well as scheduled games for university sporting events on the west coast including Washington State and Utah.” due to the current spread of the coronavirus.

“While disappointed that the situation has evolved as it has, I fully respect the right of any member institution to determine what it believes to in the best interest of its student-athletes,” said WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd. “From a conference standpoint, the necessary adjustments will be made according to NCAA policy in order to bracket the conference tournament scheduled for March 11-14 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.”

3:04 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

CDC expands coronavirus testing criteria to all US patients with a doctor’s order

From CNN's Arman Azad

This is a picture of CDC's laboratory test kit for the 2019 novel coronavirus.
This is a picture of CDC's laboratory test kit for the 2019 novel coronavirus. CDC

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dramatically expanded the testing criteria for the novel coronavirus today. The CDC formally removed earlier restrictions that limited coronavirus testing of the general public to people in the hospital, unless they had a close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case. 

According to the CDC, clinicians should now “use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested.”

The new criteria formalizes Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement, made Tuesday night, that “any American can be tested (for coronavirus), no restrictions, subject to doctors’ orders.”

Unless a patient had close contact with a confirmed coronavirus patient, the earlier criteria limited testing to people who had been hospitalized with both a fever and respiratory symptoms.

Some context: Questions remain about whether the United States can meet a possible surge in testing demand. 

Two coronavirus tests in the United States currently have Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations and are in use nationwide. These include CDC test kits, which have been distributed to public health laboratories across the country, and another test designed and used by New York state. 

Under rules issued Feb. 29, the FDA is also allowing hospitals, private companies and laboratories to develop other diagnostic tests that can be used before the FDA issues an emergency use authorization.

3:52 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

California records its first coronavirus death

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Los Angeles County Public Health director Barbara Ferrer speaks at a Los Angeles County Health Department press conference on the novel coronavirus, on Wednesday, March 4, in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County Public Health director Barbara Ferrer speaks at a Los Angeles County Health Department press conference on the novel coronavirus, on Wednesday, March 4, in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The death of a patient in Placer County marks the first coronavirus-related death in California.

The patient was elderly and had underlying health conditions, according to Placer County Public Health. 

The patient was likely exposed during international travel from Feb. 11 to 21 on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco to Mexico, the release continues, adding that the patient was in isolation at Kaiser Permanente Roseville.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this patient,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “While we have expected more cases, this death is an unfortunate milestone in our efforts to fight this disease, and one that we never wanted to see. 

“While most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, this tragic death underscores the urgent need for us to take extra steps to protect residents who are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious illness, including elderly persons and those with underlying health conditions,” Sisson added.

Ten health care workers and five emergency workers who had contact with the patient are quarantined, but not exhibiting symptoms.

2:31 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

There are now 149 cases of coronavirus in the US

There are 149 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 10 deaths, in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local governments. 

According to the CDC, there are 49 cases from repatriated citizens. According to CNN Health’s tally of cases that are detected and tested through the US public health systems, there are 100 cases in 13 states. Bringing the total of coronavirus cases to 149.

This includes presumptive positive cases that tested positive in a public health lab and are pending confirmation from the CDC, and confirmed cases have received positive results from the CDC.

Here's a state-by-state breakdown of the US cases:

  1. Arizona – 2 
  2. California – 33
  3. Florida - 3
  4. Georgia - 2
  5. Illinois - 4 
  6. Massachusetts - 2
  7. New Hampshire – 2
  8. New York - 6
  9. North Carolina - 1 
  10. Oregon - 3
  11. Rhode Island - 2 
  12. Washington state - 39 (includes 10 fatalities) 
  13. Wisconsin - 1
2:18 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

At least 10 people have died in Washington state from coronavirus

A 10th person has died from Coronavirus in Washington state, the state’s health department website confirmed today

The death occurred in King County.

In total, the state has reported 39 cases, up from 27 reported earlier.

2:45 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

Washington state county says it doesn't have enough coronavirus tests

From CNN’s Jason Kravarik and Stephanie Elam

Media tours the first of 18 four-room modular housing units being prepared for patient accommodation during treatment and isolation in King County's response to coronavirus on a site in White Center, south of Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, March 3.
Media tours the first of 18 four-room modular housing units being prepared for patient accommodation during treatment and isolation in King County's response to coronavirus on a site in White Center, south of Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, March 3. Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

The King County Public Health Department in Washington state does not have enough coronavirus tests to meet the current demand, the department has confirmed to CNN.

Katie Ross, spokeswoman for the department, could not immediately say what steps were being taken to correct the problem, or when it would be remedied, but she said the department is issuing guidance to prioritize the administering of available tests. 

"By far, more people want tests than we have available," Ross told CNN.

Anyone who feels they have been in contact with an infected person is encouraged to call the department's coronavirus help line (206-477-3977), Ross said. 

People who have symptoms, but who haven't had contact with someone known to be infected, are being asked to monitor their symptoms and self-quarantine, she added.

Ross noted that tests administered through the state's public health department are free.

2:01 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

US Senate leader wants to pass coronavirus funding bill this week

From CNN's Ted Barrett and Clare Foran 

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

As he massaged a glob of Purell into his hands and headed into a lunch with Republican senators, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said if they get “cooperation” from all senators they plan to pass the emergency funding for the coronavirus outbreak “this week.”

“Our goal would be to do it this week, if we get cooperation,” McConnell said, shortly after a broad agreement was reached and House leaders said they planned to vote on it in the next few hours.

GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said he anticipates some budget-conscious Republicans will vote against the $7.8 billion package because of its large price tag but didn’t indicate who might oppose it.

“Not everyone will vote for the bill. But they would not have voted for it at $2.2 billion either,” Blunt said referring to the much smaller original supplemental request from the White House.

GOP Whip John Thune said if some members push for procedural votes because they have concerns with the bill, it could slow things down, but he was hopeful the Senate would pass it “fairly quickly.”

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama, who directed talks for Senate Republicans, was more hopeful. He repeatedly predicted the bill would pass Thursday.

Asked about his use of Purell, which came from a large jug placed on a desk in the foyer of his leadership suite, McConnell replied: “It’s good to have it these days.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer confirms in a tweet that the House will vote today on the coronavirus funding package. 

1:53 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

US Vice President Pence will meet with Washington state governor this week

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images
Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Washington state tomorrow, where he'll meet with the state's governor Jay Inslee to discuss coronavirus coordination.

The visit comes as there are now 137 cases of the novel coronavirus in the US, 27 of which are in Washington state, which includes nine fatalities.

“I’ll be in Olympia. I’ll be meeting with Gov. Jay Inslee and we’ll be bringing our team with us to further coordinate and ensure that we are giving all support necessary to Washington state’s efforts there,” Pence said during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room with diagnostic lab CEOs.

Pence said he spoke to Inslee yesterday.

Pence will also visit with company 3M in Minnesota on Thursday to discuss a supplemental bill regarding masks for US healthcare workers. 

“We want to make sure the people that are caring for the American public have the proper protective gear, masks and gloves, to be safe as they administer their care,” he said

1:54 p.m. ET, March 4, 2020

1,000 people asked to self-quarantine in New York

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference on Monday, March 2, in New York City.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference on Monday, March 2, in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

About 1,000 people have been asked to self-quarantine following the coronavirus cases in Westchester, New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Those individuals will be contacted by various health departments and provided guidance, Cuomo said.

“If anything we are being over cautious,” Cuomo said.

The temple, Young Israel, CNN reported on earlier this week has roughly 380 family congregants, its website said.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer previously advised the temple to halt all services due to exposure to the second New York coronavirus patient – adding that individuals who attended a funeral and a bat mitzvah on February 23 along with services on the 22 must self-quarantine.

A hotline has been established for people who have been asked to quarantine, Latimer said.

Those who have tested positive for the virus are being monitored by local health departments with regulation from the state, Cuomo said.